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Music: Using a cover version of a song in my short film.

I want to create a new musical interpretation of a commercial song to use in my short film. The original was a male solo piece, where the new version will be a female duet, so I am only interested in the lyrics, not the original score. I am seeking advice and best practice regarding getting the rights to use the lyrics, and the legalities of using the cover version, in my short film. What are the pitfalls I should look out for? Have you used an original cover version before? How did you do it?

  • There are 3 elements to the copyright in a song. The song itself (melody and lyrics), the actual recording, and the performance on that recording. You only want to use the first, so you'll need to get permission from both the songwriter and the publisher who owns the song. And probably pay a fee- and the more famous the song, the bigger the fee. Otherwise you're clear on the rest, since you're not using the recording or the performances in the recording. Hope that helps.

    7 years ago
  • - your starting point for clearing publishing etc rights.

    7 years ago
  • As Tom (above) says you need permission from the songwriter/publisher unless the song is very old. The details of copyright vary from country to country. Have a look at the UK copyright service website for more info:

    7 years ago